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Tuesday, November 29th
Mondly offers a fun way to get started with your Russian learning journey or to practice some of the basics you already know. This program is mostly app-based (but you can use it on desktop too), and you'll get lots of repetition of key words and phrases, plus opportunities for practicing real-world conversations. There's plenty of free content, but the premium features require a low-cost subscription or a one-time fee for lifetime access. Mondly doesn't offer the most robust Russian lessons we've seen - no explanations of grammar or in-depth cultural insights here - but it's a good option for basic learning and practice.
If you ever tried to learn Russian in the past, you might already be familiar with Living Language: they've been around for decades. However, their methods for teaching Russian haven't kept up with the times: the platform is outdated, the company has dropped some of its more popular features (like eTutoring), and there's no refund policy. You'll have a better experience with a more up-to-date provider of Russian lessons.
If you're interested in learning the language, you likely already realize that it's going to be more challenging than some. First off, Russian uses a completely different alphabet, Cyrillic, from what you're using right now to read in English. Training your mind to recognize the new symbols and the sounds they make (or to make different sounds using letters that look similar between Cyrillc and the Roman alphabet) can take some time.
You'll also have to master a grammatical system that's quite different from English. Do you know the difference between the nominative case and the dative case? It's okay if you don't - because of the six cases used in Russian, we only use three in modern English.
Feeling discouraged? Don't be! Russian is ranked as a Level III language by the US State Department, marking it merely as a "hard" language and not as difficult as Level IV languages like Arabic or Chinese. Whew! And with the right type of Russian lessons, you could find yourself reading, writing, understanding and speaking the language more fluently than you imagined.
So, what makes a Russian language program the "right type" ? Some of that depends on you. Do you learn best by reading detailed explanations of grammar or by learning useful words and phrases in context? Do you like your learning to feel like playing games or do you prefer a more straightforward, traditional approach? If you're not sure about the answers to any of those questions, that's fine: most Russian lessons have a free lesson or give you limited access to the platform so you can try it for yourself. Put a few providers to the test and see which ones keep coming to mind - or which approach helps what you've learned to "stick" the best!
Generally speaking, there are a few factors that can make a particular system for learning Russian better than another. Those include:
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